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Vet clinic in New Mexico is first in U.S. to accept Bitcoin

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A New Mexico veterinary clinic announced Dec. 3 that it has become the first animal hospital in the United States to start actively accepting Bitcoin, a virtual currency, as payment for its services.

Vetco said it has begun accepting Bitcoin at its location in “tech savvy” Albuquerque to make veterinary care more accessible to pet owners.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for people to get their pets vaccinated, spayed and neutered,” Vetco owner Cindy Houghton said.

Vetco said its intention is to accept Bitcoin only at its Albuquerque clinic, but it will accommodate any requests it receives to use the digital cash at its Los Lunas clinic.

According to a Bitcoin website, use of the four-year-old currency is small but growing quickly, with $1.5 billion in circulation and millions of dollars exchanged daily. As of Dec. 4, eight pet supply businesses were listed as accepting Bitcoin. However, the electronic money has remained controversial due to large fluctuations in its value and because it is reportedly used mainly to buy illegal drugs and conduct online gambling.

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